Friday 31 July 2015

Blossoms - Blown Rose EP

We've championed Blossoms for over a year now and we think Blown Rose is the song that's going to make the leap for them from a band with a lot of potential to winning over a brand new bigger audience. Armed with a freshly inked contract with Virgin EMI and a single that's probably our favourite song of theirs, we can't see anything stopping them.  Keeping with the fine tradition of Greater Manchester bands, Blown Rose is a four-track EP and takes its place alongside the panthenon of classic EPs from over the decades.

Milltown Brothers - Long Road

Eleven years since their last album, Colne's Milltown Brothers deliver their 4th, and finest, record to date.

The Earlies / Liam Frost - Manchester Band On The Wall - 29th July 2015

It’s been eight long years since the last The Earlies tour following the release of their second album Enemy Chorus. Defying the logistical problems of the band being based in the US and Manchester, they’ve reformed to record a new album and play a series of dates as a reintroduction to the band.  We went along to the Band On The Wall to watch the eleven (yes, eleven) piece band perform tracks from their two albums and their recent Message From Home EP.

The Slow Readers Club - Sheffield Crystal - 25th July 2015

Winning over new fans with every song, and delighting the faithful, The Slow Readers Club return to The Crystal Stage at the Tramlines Festival.

Thursday 30 July 2015

Track Of The Day : Hey Anna - Don't Talk Stop

Hey Anna are a five-piece from New York fronted by three sisters Anna, Erin and Katie Rauch-Sasseen.  They've recently released their debut album Run Koko. We discovered them by the joyful accident of Soundcloud's random next song player, but were immediately smitten by their sound that incorporates a heady mix of genres to create something quite fun and uplifting.

Wednesday 29 July 2015

Heavy On The Magic - Manchester The Castle - 28th July 2015

Formed out of the ashes of The Minx and featuring three of them, Heavy On The Magic played their first gig last night at The Castle in Manchester. We went along to check out what Chris Haddon and his cohorts had been up to and were treated to a set that felt both familiar but also pointing towards a new exciting direction.

Puppet Rebellion - Life Is In Your Hands EP

After a quiet few months, Puppet Rebellion return with a full EP on August 31st, their first physical release with new frontman Oliver Davies. The Life Is In Your Hands EP sees two new songs joining Watch Me Fall and Claim To Fame, which were released digitally back in February.

Track Of The Day : Hidden Charms - Dreaming Of Another Girl

Dreaming Of Another Girl is the debut single by London four-piece Hidden Charms. They've already created a growing buzz with their live shows and the single is certain to embed them in many of next year's tip lists.

Tuesday 28 July 2015

Track Of The Day : Little Sparrow - Wishing Tree

Wishing Tree is the new single from Little Sparrow, backed with an exclusive track not available on her album called Garden. The single is accompanied by a video recorded in the woods near Macclesfield and also features some clever use of animation to add to the mystique of the film.

Monday 27 July 2015

Whiteboy / Trampolene / Bad Molly - Manchester Night And Day - 25th July 2015

This Feeling's club nights at the Night And Day always deliver a quality contrasting mix of local and national talents and July's was no exception. Headlined by local heroes White Boy, still counting the number of gigs on their fingers and alongside them Welsh heroes Trampolene making a long overdue and welcome return to Manchester as well as Bad Molly who are earning themselves a growing reputation here too, the crowd was treated to three very different yet in their own way exceptional bands.

Track Of The Day : Heavy On the Magic - Val Doonican Express

Val Doonican Express is the debut demo from Heavy On The Magic. Led by Chris Haddon, who'll be familiar to fans of Even The Stars favourites The Minx, they play their first gig at The Castle in Manchester tomorrow night.

Friday 24 July 2015

C Duncan / False Nines / Paul Bytheway - Salford Eagle Inn - 22nd July 2015

Having had the delightful pleasure of discovering C Duncan's debut album Architect we were eagerly anticipating his first show in Manchester in the intimate surroundings of the Eagle Inn. With another eighty people crammed in, we were intrigued to see whether Chris and his band could transform the layered bedroom recordings of the album into the live environment. We were not disappointed.

Monday 20 July 2015

C Duncan - Architect

Architect is a remarkable record in many ways. Firstly, if you weren't told, you wouldn't believe that it was recorded in a Glasgow bedroom, With that in mind, you listen to it and revel in its meticulous construction and delivery and marvel at its singular sense of purpose and direction. Every note and every word feel like they're there for a reason, and at no point does anything ever feel superfluous or overdone.

The Blackrays - Manchester Night And Day - 17th July 2015

The Blackrays may be relatively new players on the psyche scene, but on the basis of the show we witnessed at the Night And Day at the weekend, they're one of the more forward thinking, sonically challenging bands around. They create dark, threatening, metallic waves of sound that both pummel the listener, but also have a warmth and depth to them that's both exciting and fascinating, leaving you wondering what's coming next.

Sunday 19 July 2015

James - Nottingham Splendour Festival - 18th July 2015

As part of their summer festival season, James played a slot second on the bill at the Splendour Festival in the picturesque setting of Wollaton Deer Park on the outskirts of Nottingham. On a sun-baked day, they mixed some of their best-known hits with tracks from their most recent La Petite Mort album.

Saturday 18 July 2015

Nina Baker - Interview

This week's tip on Shell Zenner's Amazing Radio is a song called When I'm Not With You by Nina Baker.  We caught up with Nina to have a chat about the variety of styles in her music, her influences and to find out a bit more about her album Quite Frankly.

Wednesday 15 July 2015

Track Of The Day : Lock - Click

Click is the debut single from London-based duo Lock made up of sisters Edie and Gita. It forms part of a four-track EP with another new track The High Life and remixes of the title track by Felon and Dan Noisettes.

Tuesday 14 July 2015

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds / Johnny Marr / Black Rivers - Manchester Castlefield Bowl - 11th July 2015

The second weekend of Summer In The City sold out within minutes as Noel Gallagher brought his High Flying Birds back home for what is by their arena stadiums an intimate show. To complete the bill of Manchester legends, he was supported by Johnny Marr and Black Rivers, themselves members of celebrated Manchester groups in their past. Even the weather couldn't dampen the spirit of the crowd, but we walked away at the end of the night feeling a little underwhelmed.

Track Of The Day : Kulas - Stranger In Love

Stranger In Love is the first song revealed from Kulas's as-yet-untitled forthcoming third album. The Toronto-based musician has been silent for quite some time now, but Stranger In Love is a big bold statement as a return.

Monday 13 July 2015

Little Sparrow - Manchester Albert Square - 11th July 2015

Although there's very little Mancunian about the headline attractions at this year's Manchester International Festival, there's one small corner of Albert Square that is showcasing some unique talent from the city. Even The Stars went along to catch our old friend Little Sparrow perform two sets on Saturday afternoon.

Track Of The Day : Tom Chaplin - Love Wins

Love Wins is the second full demo revealed by Keane front man Tom Chaplin as he prepares a solo record for release. His voice is unmistakable, but the song displays a tender fragile side to it than augurs well for the record.

Saturday 11 July 2015

Control Of The Going - Manchester Night And Day - 10th July 2015

Tonight is Control Of The Going's first ever gig. On the back of their debut EP Epilepsy Bus Ride, we're intrigued to see if they can pass that mandatory litmus test of any band's mettle - whether they can cut it live.  They pass with flying colours.

Thursday 9 July 2015

Lunar - Manchester Night And Day - 7th July 2015

Headlining the Night And Day in Manchester for your second gig is a pretty good start to your career particularly if you haven't even released a track yet. We reported on Lunar's first gig at the end of May and caught them again to see how far they've developed in the interim.

Monday 6 July 2015

James - Delamere Forest - 5th July 2015

It’s been a long held wish of both band and fans alike for James to play Delamere Forest, scene of legendary shows from the likes of Elbow, I Am Kloot and Doves and just an hour away from their hometown of Manchester. The shows are put on by the Forestry Commision each year over the first weekend of July and the “indie” night is seen as a pilgrimage for the music fans of the North West.

Sunday 5 July 2015

The Charlatans / Super Furry Animals / Blossoms - Manchester Castlefield Bowl - 4th July 2015

The Charlatans aren't from Manchester, yet this is regarded as a hometown gig and as the sun goes down and they move from one hit single to the next a sea of arms raised aloft across the Castlefield Bowl prove Ian Brown's oft-quoted line "It's not where you're from, it's where you're at" as they continue their remarkable resurrection on the back of this year's stunning Modern Nature album. Support comes from Super Furry Animals and Blossoms.

Saturday 4 July 2015

Embers / Lucky T Jackson - Salford Eagle Inn - 3rd July 2015

It's been a long time since we last saw Embers. This is only their second gig in at least twelve months and their first of the year. We feared the worst for them, but we're delighted to report they're back armed with a set of big big songs and, of course, some of the marauding epic anthems that made us fall in love with them in the first place. Support came from an acoustic set by Lucky T Jackson.

Friday 3 July 2015

I Am Kloot - Hebden Bridge Trades Club - 2nd July 2015

There’s a very special relationship between I Am Kloot front man John Bramwell and Hebden Bridge Trades Club, probably the best small venue in the country. His solo shows are the stuff of legend and one of those was captured for immortality on his Live At The Trades album. Tonight, he’s here with his band as a one-off show around their summer festival season.

Wednesday 1 July 2015

Minnie Birch - Floundering

Minnie Birch claims to "make sad and dreary music that will leave you feeling happy" - that's quite a claim to make, but on one listen of her debut album Floundering, we're entranced by her curious unsettling stories - beautifully simple in their execution but containing all manner of weird and wonderful tales.